David Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group is planning a new station group venture focused on smaller market stations, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Steve Pruett, CEO of Communications Corp. of America and chairman of the Fox affiliates board, will play a “prominent role” in building the group, B&C reports:
The principals in the new venture, which is as yet untitled, seek to launch in the coming months with at least 20 stations. Smith called talk of the new venture “rank speculation.” He would not comment further, citing his role in a publicly traded company. Pruett, who is the Fox affiliates board chairman, could not be reached for comment. The Barrington station group is on the block and is believed to have attracted the interest of the new venture. Barrington’s executives could not be reached for comment.
The CCA stations are also being shopped. CCA owns or operates 25 stations, in Texas, Louisiana and Evansville, Ind., and their market size and affiliate mix could make them a fit for the new group. A quartet of Cox stations may also be on the startup principals’ wish list. A Cox executive would not comment.